5 Women Give Advice About Living With Scoliosis

 

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Scoliosis, it is when the spine curves in abnormal ways. And oddly enough, it is a sexist disease! Scoliosis has been proven to be more common and severe with women than with men.

 

My journey with Scoliosis has been a long and hard one. I was diagnosed when I was 4 years old. I got my first back brace in 3rd grade and continued to wear them all the way up to 10th grade. When I was 15, I had spinal fusion surgery to correct the two major curves in my spine. One was 60+ degrees and the other was 40+ degrees.

 

Living with Scoliosis is a big challenge. Gym class and exercise are a nightmare, shopping for clothes is the worst, and the bullying can seem endless. So what are lovely ladies such as ourselves supposed to do when we are diagnosed with Scoliosis? How does one live with it?

I know several other women who are also going through their personal journey with Scoliosis. Many of whom have helped me along in my journey. I asked each of them, “What has living with Scoliosis taught you?” and what advice they could give to others with Scoliosis. This is how they responded:

 

“I have learned that something that is labeled as a disability doesn't always cause you to be disabled. Some days I feel disabled but most days I feel like a normal person, which I am. Living with Scoliosis means that you are always going to have to adapt. The things that you used to do may be different now so there are always going to be firsts.”

-    Kristyn, Age: 14 from British Columbia, Canada

 

“The best advice I can give to any girl is reach out, educate yourself on the condition, get second and third opinions from doctors. I was so fortunate to make best friends who also have this condition and we supported each other and never felt alone. Remember that you are stronger than your curves.”

-    Emilie, Age: 19 from New York

 

“Living with scoliosis has made me a much stronger and more determined person. The countless doctor's visits and frequent discomfort taught me to speak up for myself and advocate for what I need to feel better. It's taught me to love my body even if it doesn't look the way society says it should. It's taught me to be proud of who I am and not let anything get in the way of what I want. For anyone else out there dealing with scoliosis, I would say to lean on your support team and share your fears with them. You don't have to be alone or ashamed. Also, don't be afraid to speak up if something about your treatment plan doesn’t feel right. It’s your body and your life.”

-    Rachel, Age: 23 from New York

 

“I've learned to accept myself the way I am. My Scoliosis is a part of me, and I wouldn't give it up for anything. It made me who I am today. If I could offer one piece of advice to other girls with Scoliosis, it would be to remember that you're unstoppable. You're perfect the way you are--don't let a curvy spine, a piece of plastic, or a metal rod define you. You define you, and that's what makes you awesome!”

-    Kirsten, Age: 15 from Minnesota

 

I learned to embrace my brace and that my scar was a sign of strength. Those of you that also have Scoliosis should feel empowered because once you get the treatment that you need, you will walk around proud of your beautiful straight back and amazing posture. You are not disabled, you are enabled to spread awareness and to be a role model for others. You may be bent, but you are not broken. Always remember that Scoliosis is a part of you that only makes you stronger.